How do I know if I have the flu or a cold? It makes a difference - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

How do I know if I have the flu or a cold? It makes a difference in treatment

(Source: WOIO) (Source: WOIO)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

The Cleveland Clinic is warning everyone that October is the beginning of cold and flu season but how can you tell if you have one or the other?

Clinic doctors stress knowing the difference means getting the correct treatments to get you back healthy. 

"Both illnesses start with a virus that infects your airways followed by symptoms like sore throat, stuffy nose, and congestion. With such similarities, it may be hard to tell if you are suffering from a cold or flu," a Clinic advisory says. 

There's a simple way to give you the first clue that the Clinic calls F.A.C.T.S.

Fever

Aches

Chills

Tiredness

Sudden onset

What's that spell? "All symptoms pointing to the flu," according to the advisory. 

The Clinic explains, "Symptoms of influenza often hit suddenly and cause you to become weaker and weaker. The dry cough and fatigue of influenza can last two to three weeks. Signs that influenza is getting worse include fever, shaking chills, and shortness of breath. If you think that your illness is getting worse, contact your health care provider promptly."

We all wish there was a magical cure for the flu but according to the Clinic the best treatments:

  • Rest
  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Eat a light diet
  • Stay at home
  • Acetaminophen for fever/aches

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